Unani medicine is an ancient and traditional form of healing arts. Background here. But in India, some Unani doctors have been practicing more than medicine. “Post 7/11, Unani docs under watch,” by Pradeep Thakur and Vishwa Mohan for The Times of India, with thanks to Davsmi:
NEW DELHI: Their profession calls for a healing touch. But they trade in terror, passing off as respectable members of their neighbourhoods while plotting violence.
Recent arrests have linked Unani doctors to terror strikes, as far apart as Ayodhya and Mumbai, putting them firmly under the scanner of security agencies.
The arrests of two Unani doctors for their involvement in the Malegaon explosions of September 8, 2006, is not the first time that this medical stream has come under cloud for links with a jehadi agenda.
Medical practitioners and lawyers have always been on the security radar as the professions provide a perfect cover for meeting a wide range of people for “valid” reasons.
According to an intelligence official, for a militant outfit, a lawyer, a doctor or even a local journalist is a good recruit as they have a wide social network and they can meet and identify persons with a radical bent of mind.
Such young and vulnerable minds are considered best material for espousing the jehadi cause, sources said.
Investigations in the recent blast cases have clearly spelt out a pattern involving Unani doctors. Police found that these doctors were not only allegedly involved in providing shelter to terrorists but also acted as conduits for money transfers.
Such a trend was noticed in all major terror incidents including 7/11 in Mumbai, Varanasi blasts, Ayodhya attack and Shramjeevi Express explosion.
While two Unani doctors “” Salman Farsi and Farooq Iqbal “” were arrested for their roles in Malegaon blasts on Tuesday, one Tanvir Ahmed Ansari from their fraternity was held by Mumbai Police for his complicity in 7/11.
During investigations, it was found that all three had close links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
Ansari had allegedly even undergone bomb making training in Pakistan in 2004. Similar links were also traced by the UP police while probing the Varanasi blasts.
A cleric working out of a Phulpur mosque in UP, Walliullah, claimed to be an expert in Unani medicines, had masterminded the attack at Sankat Mochan temple at the behest of Bangladeshi outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI).
It was found that the same cleric gave shelter to those who planted a bomb in Shramjeevi Express near Jaunpur in UP in July last year.
Intelligence officials explained that terrorist outfits would not only try to tap professionals having wide social network within their own community but also try to work the other way round by training recruits as Unani doctors, lawyers or journalists before sending them on a mission.
The three major blasts exposed other meticulously followed patterns. Sources said Malegaon terror attacks pointed a needle of suspicion at the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist organisation responsible for earlier strikes in Mumbai (7/11), Varanasi (3/7) and Delhi (10/29).